NOMINATION FORM Title of Nomination: Human Services Modernization: Shared Front-End Project Project/System Manager: Deborah A. Snyder Siddhartha Chowdhary Job Title: Project Director, Human Services Modernization Shared Front-End Project Project Manager, Human Services Modernization Shared Front-End Project Agency: New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance MTW Corporation Department: Address: 40 No Pearl St. - 10C City: Albany State: New York Zip: 12243 Phone: 518-473-2581 518-473-6684 FAX: 518-473-2584 E-Mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Category for Judging: Information Architecture Person Nominating: John Van Blaricum Phone: 913.236.8400 FAX: 913.236.8828 E-Mail: email@example.com Executive Summary Creating The Human Services Enterprise Human Services delivery in New York State has not historically been approached as a single enterprise. Welfare and related reform efforts have required the state to develop a more coordinated effort to manage resources, increase productivity, lower costs, and improve customer service. Strategic analysis of the situation identified that many state agencies operating human services programs within their own "stovepipe" systems, each with their own budget, policies, program goals, procedures and information systems. Existing practices led to duplicate efforts and redundant information. In 1998, New York State commissioned a strategic plan to guide development of new business processes and information systems to support a common intake process, or as it is more commonly referred to, a Shared Front-End (SFE). The central concept behind the Shared Front-End is to provide customers with a consistent intake experience and program information regardless of the initial “door” used to access the human services enterprise. The fundamental changes that welfare reform brought to human services delivery created a clear focus on customer-centric, integrated service delivery and case management, and personal responsibility outcomes. Driving goals are improved customer outcomes – increased self- sufficiency and independence from government assistance and improved quality of life. To achieve the state’s goals of improved productivity and efficiency, local workers needed system tools to consistently enable collection of customer information only once and share this information with workers from different programs. Timely access to accurate information was also needed to enable workers to make informed decisions and to effectively coordinate resources (programs and services) to assist clients in overcoming their individual obstacles. Given the disparate nature of the many agencies involved and the cost and time it would take to replace the existing stovepipe systems, state officials chose a component-based development approach that allowed them to leverage existing systems and data to create the new integrated environment. This approach provided an attractive alternative to massive development and replacement of existing systems as well as a strategic path for implementing new technology and programs. On July 29, 1999, a four- agency Governance Board representing the Office of Temporary Disability Assurance, office of Children and Family Services, Department of Labor, and Department of Health accepted the Strategic Plan. The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) subsequently lead the way by initiating the Human Services Modernization Shared Front End Project to create an overall technology architecture for the state’s Human Services Enterprise and a common intake for Human Services information through four initial “Fast Track” prototype pilot programs. The capabilities of the SFE pilots provide a state of the art on-line front-end to human service legacy systems to support the new integrated human services environment. The initiative also provides the state critical improvements associated with an integrated enterprise architecture to support the broader modernization efforts planned that will enable the state to deliver widely distributed information technology capabilities, more efficient human service operations, and higher levels of customer service for clients of all types. Project Description An enterprise view of New York State’s human services programs reveals an extraordinary level of redundancy in front-end business processing across program areas. This unnecessary replication of common data and tasks was identified as an ideal environment for business and systems process improvement. The New York State strategic plan had as one of its essential objectives identifying and exploiting opportunities to reduce costs in the administration of human services programs by eliminating unnecessary redundancy and streamlining business processes in data collection and system support. Integrating data was targeted as an opportunity to reduce operating cost as well as to provide improvements in fraud detection and customer service. The SFE Project was the first initiative undertaken within the Human Services Modernization (HSM) effort. SFE will ultimately provide a computer system that supports the following business functions as defined in the Strategic Plan: Screening, Assessment, Referral, Application processing, Eligibility Determination, and Verification. Upon completion of the project, New York State can reuse and expand system components as additional programs and/or functionality are considered and addressed. From the onset of the Project, OTDA executive management has expressed a keen interest in pursuing short-term tactical features that could be developed quickly and bring early value, ahead of the longer- term Shared Front End application. Four such early deliverable prototypes were designed and developed: the Automatic Application System, Services Provider Referral System (SPRS), CentraPort, and the Electronic Access Reference Library (EARL). These web-based prototypes utilize the common architecture depicted at the end of this section. They have been demonstrated to various state and local user groups, were well received and are scheduled for a June 2001 implementation. Following the pilot phase, future integration of these systems and the overall SFE initiative will be evaluated. Following are descriptions of the initial four systems included in the Fast Track Prototype Program. The Automatic Application System includes the functions of screening (initial contact) and application processing prior to the budgeting functionality. The Auto Application process encompasses the collection of information to support a common application, the ability to collect this data at multiple points in time, the capability to create and maintain an application in the upstate welfare management (legacy) system, and the ability to create reports, and perform selected transactions. The Services Provider Referral System (SPRS) is a web-based application designed to provide workers with service provider search, retrieval and referral capabilities. Available information on providers will include name, phone number, facility address, directions to location, services available, etc. Workers will be able to search by multiple criteria (zip code, provider type, proximity, etc), provide information, checklists, referrals and maps for use by clients seeking services. The Electronic Access Reference Library (EARL) is a web-based application designed to provide workers with access to the information they need to support their work… EARL is an information aggregator that provides workers with on-line access, search and retrieval of an integrated collection of program/policy/systems resources, manuals, intranet and Internet links and other materials needed by either the workers or program areas to communicate with and support local district efforts. CentraPort is a web-based portal that provides users with single sign-on access to a variety of key business functionalities from both existing and new technology. A consolidated screen provides user options such as authorized access to legacy systems, to-do list, e-mail features, new web- based applications (such as SPRS, EARL, etc.) and NY State intranet and Internet links. CentraPort is locally administered and customizable to meet user needs. As older (legacy) system features are ‘modernized’, user will be able to access these new applications through a consistent, single location. Methodology To perform the analysis of user requirements and business rules, the analysis to support the SFE short- term and long-term objectives, as well as the integration of common data and legacy systems, the SFE project is utilizing PROgression™. PROgression™ is a component-based development (CBD) approach developed by MTW Corporation. This approach establishes a component architecture to integrate legacy information systems and provide new functionality. CBD is a systems delivery solution based on the idea of assembling pre-tested components into applications to implement business solutions. PROgression was is chosen as the methodology based on its proven track record in maximizing the reuse of existing legacy software using component based methods, tools and techniques. Technical Architecture The following diagram describes the proposed SFE technical architecture. The proposed architecture is n- tier, utilizing COM/COM+ objects, WEB browser presentation layer, separate application business layer, and a separate database layer. This architecture will also facilitate leveraging of existing legacy (back- end) system functionality. Relative significance to the improvement of Government program and system operation As New York State looks toward modernizing its current Welfare Management Systems (WMS) and implements the Shared Front End application to the field over the Internet, it is encountering many of the same challenges that other large states and Corporate America are currently coping with. The two existing WMS (NY City and NY State) must be consolidated into a single statewide system. The two WMS have vastly different processing requirements and were built using different technologies, yet both share very similar core data requirements. To support the mandate for a single statewide system, all functionality that exists in these two WMS must be accounted for in the new system prior to its deployment. The forces behind this mandate are federal policy/legal changes; budgetary initiatives to control the cost of development, maintenance and delivery; and provide improved overall service. Challenges associated with building an enterprise architecture for New York State human services operations are real and the solution is complex. They must be dealt with in a comprehensive manner and decisions made quickly and decisively. A component-based development approach will enable New York State address integration of existing systems, elimination of redundancy, delivery of new functionality, as well as provide a long-term strategy for enterprise application integration. The benefits of this strategy includes: 1) Responsive systems to end users that allow cost-effective continuous incremental modification to quickly meet business requirements. 2) Systems (new, packaged and legacy) that easily communicate with one another enabling effective Client Management 3) The ability to transition to strategic platforms without affecting applications built relying on services that resided on older technologies. 4) The ability to have multiple systems’ core functionality accessed from multiple applications utilizing different technologies (e.g. web, VRU, wireless etc.) while preserving a single point of maintenance and data storage. This yields lower maintenance costs and much quicker development times by enabling reuse. 5) The ability to lure the best and brightest programmers to help solve their business problems while leveraging the extensive knowledge of the existing staff therefore decreasing reliance on a core set of programmers over time. 6) The ability to easily move programmers from one project to another and have them immediately productive. 7) The ability to leverage vendor relationships, thus driving the overall Systems/hardware Cost of Ownership down. 8) Comprehensive, cost effective training programs focused on the standard way the Agency delivers application based solutions to its customers. Taking a long view of the operational efficiency potential in New York State, the goal of this modernization effort is not to simply focus on WMS but rather on all systems the Agency supports or will build in the future to create a true enterprise view of operations. Decisions made concerning WMS will not only enable WMS to realize the above-mentioned benefits, but will extend the same benefits to all agency application development areas. Benefits realized by service recipients, taxpayers, local and state agencies The SFE application will primarily be used by local district workers to efficiently gather information from a client during the intake process (screening, assessment and referral activities). If a client applies for programs that require application and eligibility requirements, the intake information can be used and added to by the worker to process the application and perform eligibility and verification functions. SFE will enable the worker to assess current needs against available services, provide the client with information as to service options and requirements, and expedite referrals to the appropriate service providers. The Share Front End application is expected to provide the following benefits and performance improvements: For workers: Increase worker efficiency and reduce time to complete intake interview and eligibility prescreening activities; Eliminate redundant data gathering and reduced data entry error rates; Support better decision making by providing timely access to critical, accurate information that enable them to make informed decisions about client needs; Support efficient and effective service referral by enabling workers to identify and coordinate the best plan of public and community-based resources (programs and services) to assist customers in overcoming individual obstacles; Improved tracking of activities and cycle times during intake and pre-eligibility; and, Provide support in performing daily activities through automation and new system functionality. For clients: Decreased intake interview time by eliminating redundant data gathering and entry; Needs-focused interview will produce more customized results and better service referrals; Increased knowledge and the ability to make better decisions about available services options to meet their needs; Improved quality of services delivery and access to services information, enabling clients to spend their time more productively in preparing for and finding work and other self-sufficiency supporting activities. For Local and State Agencies: Improved integrity of data available to support program and strategic planning decisions; Additional data available that is not currently retained in legacy systems for welfare reform tracking and Federal reporting; Increased standardization and sharing of critical data collected during the front-end intake activities to subsequent processing steps (application, eligibility, verification, etc.) through open system interfaces and legacy integration; The use of component based development standards will enable the State to move toward an integrated, responsive system structure that will support rapid change, increase development reuse potential and provide increased flexibility. In summary, the Shared Front End application will, upon its completion, provide users with upfront tools that support better decision making, an efficient and effective gateway into current legacy systems, increased data sharing, additional data not currently available and new functionality to assist them in performing their jobs more effectively. Return on investment, short-term/long-term payback, including summary calculations While metrics and a ROI analysis will not be completed until the pilot phase is underway, significant savings and productivity benefits are expected from the establishment of an enterprise architecture and by merging two existing welfare management systems into a single statewide system (ease of support/maintenance, etc.). For clients, caseworkers, and state agencies, this effort is in full support of New York’s stated vision: “More intuitive and effective information systems capabilities will empower the New York State human services enterprise as it enables its clients and their families to achieve self- sufficiency, independence, and improve the quality of their lives to the maximum extent possible.” This complex effort will pay dividends in improved efficiencies in performance and ease of use, resulting in consolidated information system architecture and establishing New York State as a leader in innovative government enterprise systems thinking.
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